IT will take a huge birthday cake to contain enough candles to celebrate 300 years of history at Warrnambool’s botanic gardens on Sunday.
A Scottish cannon cast in 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars era and a band rotunda built in 1913 will be given a modern-era community party.
Each is a feature of the heritage gardens and have played a significant role among many generations of Warrnambool and district residents.
Among the partygoers will be two women with direct links to the rotunda opening.
Marigold Curtis is the grand-daughter of John Wilson Younger, the mayor who officially opened the building, and Helen Clarke is a descendant of Alex Donaldson, one of the construction contractors.
Warrnambool’s brass band and pipes and drums band will rekindle the heydays when rotundas were popular for outdoor music concerts around Australia.
Other musical performances will liven up the free party, which is part of the annual spring garden day running from 11am to about 2pm at the rotunda.
Plant and produce stalls, memorabilia, a barbecue and guided walks will be available.
The gardens were established in 1879 and designed by noted botanist William Guilfoyle, who also designed Melbourne’s royal botanic gardens and others around the state including Camperdown, Colac, Hamilton and Koroit.
“This will be a big celebration for us,” said Ms Curtis, who is also a founding member of the Friends of Warrnambool Botanic Gardens.
“The Warrnambool gardens were the first designed by Guilfoyle after he completed the Melbourne work.
“They feature wide sweeping lawns over 14 hectares, beautiful garden beds and a wonderful collection of special trees.
“We also have the best of the Lone Pines, grown from seeds brought back from Gallipoli by Sergeant Keith McDowell and grown by his aunt at Grassmere.”
Ms Curtis’ grandfather ran the former Younger’s department store in Liebig Street, which was regarded as one of the best in regional Victoria.